It’s all about branding. You got to have a brand, or who the hell are you? Businesses, rappers, athletes, actors, everyone, everything, has to be a brand, and brands have to have a name, a slogan, a logo–something that sets them apart from everyone, and everything else. The king of all branding is MAGA, but that’s totally polarizing, which is something that is generally frowned on, brand-wise–Apple, Nike, J-Lo, Lady Gaga–the last thing they want to be is polarizing.
Celebs brand themselves by what they wear, or their tats, or the products they promote. What do you do if you’re just a regular schlub, a desk jockey–how do we, the regular Joes of the world, brand ourselves? What can you do, or wear, or sell if you want people to notice you in the real world?
I got a buddy who has a lot of tats, and I said to him once, “Why all the tattoos?” He said, “because it makes me, me.” That’s what he said, and I said, “then if it makes you, you–then why do you cover them up all day at work? Because that’s you too.” He didn’t answer. Another buddy of mine has these hoops in his earlobes. It looks stupid–let me qualify that: it looks kinda cool in a dimly lit bar, but it looks stupid in a Seven Eleven, and really stupid at church. I asked him why he has hoops in his ears, and he said, “I like it”. Fine.
I want a brand. But I figure you have to know who you are before you start branding yourself. So I sat down and wrote on a piece of paper: Who am I in this world? What makes me, me? Man, I was writing down all sort of things. It was like the 5 stages of grief–I was in denial: I actually wrote down, about myself–that I was debonaire. I am NOT debonaire. Then I got angry because I realized that I was bullshitting myself; then came
the bargaining, as in, well, I’m not handsome but I’m not a troll…or am I? Then, of course, depression, and finally, the acceptance. Here’s what acceptance looks like: I am a middle-aged man of average intelligence, with a body that can best be described as “not bad, considering…”, bad-tempered on occasion, with a strong attraction to cheap beer, and an ESPN habit that borders on psychotic.
But I also have a strong sense of fair play. And I don’t hit a person when they’re down. And I will lend money without needing to be re-paid; I know how to look my kids in the eye and tell them the truth, and best of all, I know enough not to mess around and screw up the best thing I have in the world, which is my wife.
So my brand is simple. Boring Mensch.
Find your brand.
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